LIGHTHOUSE RESTORATION PROJECT
Our aggressive and extensive restoration project continues at full pace. With the generous support provided by local resident Dr. Marvin Caruthers and the Westaway Foundation (led by Peter and Birgit Westaway), as well as a host of other donors, we have been able to proceed with our efforts to ensure that the Lighthouse will be fully restored and protected for generations to come. Erosion control measures and re-installation and upgrading of power to the site (including installation of a solar power array and a new electrical shed) are now complete. The railings around the engine room have been repainted (powder-coated), and the remaining railings will soon be re-painted. Also, additional safety measures will be added to the rails shortly. Significant concrete repairs to the inside of the tower have been completed, and patching on the exterior of both the tower and the engine room continues. Scaffolding and hoarding is in place around the lantern room at the top of the tower. This has allowed us to remove all of the windows (all but 6 were damaged, and will be replaced – replacement windows have been manufactured and are on site). As well, all of the corrosion (rust) on the exterior of the lantern room has now been removed. The badly-corroded door (to the exterior catwalk) was removed, then cleaned up and repaired, and has now been re-installed. The vents in the lantern room (which were painted over and made unusable) have been cleaned and will again be operational.
We are currently working to remove, clean and restore the weather vane at the top of the dome. Also, we are working on Once that is completed, we will move on to washing down the structure and then beginning to repaint (there will be three coats of specialized paint applied). Both the exterior and the interior of the lantern room and tower will be painted. Once the lantern room painting is complete, the windows will be replaced, and the scaffolding removed. Then we will repaint the tower, and following that, the engine room. We hope to be completed this work by mid-summer.
Restoration work is in full swing. All windows have been removed from the lantern room, in preparation for their replacement. Removal of the corrosion on the exterior of the lantern room is almost complete, and we are getting ready for repainting the exterior soon.
The lantern room door will be removed in the next few days and taken into the shop for restoration. Consideration is currently being given to how best to repair and restore the weather vane at the top of the tower (which is currently not functional).
Please note: We will be removing the railings around the engine room as of Sunday, April 15, so they can be taken into the shop and powder-coated. While these rails are removed from site, the site will be closed to visitors for safety reasons. The site will be closed from 2pm on April 15 and re-open (all being well) on Monday April 23rd. (There may be slippage by a day or to, so please check back with the website before visiting).
UPDATE: Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Installation of the scaffolding and protective hoarding around the LANTERN ROOM has now been completed. This will allow us to begin full restoration of the lantern room. We will first be removing all of the broken windows. Then the years of corrosion will be removed from the metal uprights, and from areas around the base plates and the roof. The entire lantern room (inside and outside) will be repainted, using a combination of three coats – a sealer, a main coat and a top coat. Colours will be historically accurate. We anticipate this phase of the work will take a couple of months (subject, to some extent, to weather).
Following the work on the lantern room, we will move on to concrete patching and repainting of the tower and engine room. This work is more weather-dependent, and will be done as it begins to warm up later in the spring. In preparation for this, over the past few weeks considerable concrete patching and repair has been done on the interior of the tower.
Also, please note: the red handrails located around the engine room will also be re-painted over the coming weeks. It may be necessary to temporarily remove these handrails so they can be taken into the shop and powder-coated. For safety reasons, it may therefore be necessary to close this part of the site at that time. Please check our website for more information about this.
All of the ground work required to lay the conduit for power and communications to be reinstalled in the Lighthouse has now been completed, as well as work to prevent further erosion along the causeway. Installation of the Solar Panels to provide the power is now also completed. The solar panels are connected to the BC Hydro grid, both for backup (when the sun doesn’t shine for extended periods), and also to route excess power (in the summer when we don’t need it so much) back into the grid. The new electrical shed is now complete and operational. It was designed to fit into the style and look of the existing lighthouse buildings circa 1960. All of the batteries, solar power connections and BC Hydro grid connection and solar monitoring are housed in the shed.
Now that we have the power infrastructure reinstalled, work has begun on the restoration of the Lighthouse structures. Our first priority is to restore the lantern room at the top of the lighthouse tower, which is quite severely corroded in places, and has many broken windows. This work will include refurbishing the old metal structure as much as possible, replacing some of the metal components as necessary, installing new windows (custom-made, using the original style and dimensions of the glass) and then re-painting the entire structure, inside and out.
Work on the lantern room will be followed by concrete patching and repairs on the tower itself and the engine room, and then repainting both structures, inside and out. This work (and the work on the lantern room) will require installation of scaffolding – which will be going up soon.
Also, new interpretive signs have been created with assistance from the National Cost Sharing Program for Historic Places, from Parks Canada, and have been installed on site. A small “interpretive plaza” was created as a location for the signs, and has been named the “Westaway Plaza” in recognition of the contributions of Lighthouse Society patron Peter Westaway and the Westaway Foundation.
UPDATE: This message posted on MONDAY, MAY 8
The trenching work has now been completed to lay the conduit for power and communications to be reinstalled in the Lighthouse. Work will now start on installation of the Solar Panels to provide the power. (The solar power will be connected to the BC Hydro grid, both for backup when the sun doesn’t shine for extended periods, and to put power back into the grid when we have excess). Getting the power into the lighthouse meant we had to lay the conduit above ground (to avoid having to blast into bedrock at the base of the tower), so to meet code requirements, we encased the conduit in concrete, as can be seen in the attached picture. When this portion of the work is completed, we’ll be cleaning up the debris, reinstalling the handrails and landscaping around the base. The electrical shed will also be completed within the next couple of weeks.
UPDATE: This message posted on SATURDAY, MARCH 25
Trenching and other heavy machinery work will be taking place on site beginning on TUESDAY, MARCH 28 and continuing for several days. This work will allow us to lay the conduit for electrical connections between the Lighthouse, the electrical shed, the power pole and the solar array. The site for installation of the solar array will also be further prepared at this time, and the solar panels installed in the next few weeks. We will also be backfilling around the electrical shed at this time, and the shed will then be completed in the coming weeks.
UPDATE: This message posted on SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12
Work is currently underway in the lower field. We are installing a small electrical shed as part of our project to re-establish power to the Lighthouse and engine room. Local builder Chuck Minten is building the shed and, when completed, it will have a similar appearance to the original buildings that were on site. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming days. (Next steps will be to install the solar array – this will include trenching to lay the power cables).
UPDATE: This message posted on THURSDAY, JANUARY 20
Work has recently been completed to clear areas required for installation of solar power collectors and for the construction of a utility shed. In the coming days, shed construction will begin, as well as trenching for laying power cables. Please check this site regularly for further updates.
UPDATE: This message posted on THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24
Work will be getting underway tomorrow, FRIDAY NOVEMBER 25 at 8:00 a.m. This work involves trucks and heavy machinery, and will involve brush clearing and preparation for EROSION CONTROL measures on the causeway leading to the Lighthouse. Please exercise extreme caution if you visit the site today, and stay well away from any machinery or activity – follow any instructions from the contractors on site.
Further Update: October 3.
This week we are doing some work on overhead electrical wires. Please be cautious if visiting the site.
Further Update: September 17.
The fence removal is now completed. Further work will be done over the coming week.
UPDATE: This message posted on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
Today’s activity involves temporary removal of a portion of the lower fence. Please stay away from this area.
Site remains open until further notice.
The Sheringham Point Lighthouse was built and began operations in 1912. It was de-staffed in 1989, and most of the site’s operations ceased at that time. The Lighthouse currently retains only a green beacon and a small weather station. The site was eventually declared surplus for government needs. It was acquired by the Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society in 2015, under the provisions of the Heritage Lighthouse Preservation Act, after more than a dozen years of community organizing and advocacy.
As the new stewards of this unique heritage site, the Society’s first major task is to restore the Lighthouse, Engine Room and other key features to ensure their ongoing protection, to make the site safe for visitors and to provide a glimpse back to the heyday of the Lighthouse when it was in full operation.
This work, in total, will take a number of years, but the Society’s volunteers and commercial partners are beginning with two phases of work that will make significant improvements in the condition and safety of the site. This work was identified following an assessment of the site by conservation engineers John Dam and Associates. The restoration work is being coordinated by project manager Ian Fawcett of Change Canada Consultants, and involves, wherever possible, contractors from the local (Shirley/Sooke) area.
The restoration work includes the following:
Phase 1 (September to December 2016)
- Erosion control along the causeway
- Provision of power to the site and the lighthouse structures
- Safety upgrades
- A new access trail through the site
- Upgrades to the public access section of Sheringham Point Road and the lower parking area, as required by CRD and MOTI
Phase 2 (January to June 2017)
- Re-fabrication and re-painting of the Lighthouse lantern room
- Concrete patching and re-painting of the tower (exterior and interior)
- Concrete repairs and repainting of the engine room (exterior and interior)
- Installation of additional site security measures, including an upgraded access gate
- Replanting and site foliage restoration as necessary
Phase 3 (July 2017, ongoing)
- Accommodations for people with limited mobility/agility following further consultations
- Further landscaping, as required
- Further restoration of the lantern room, including re-patriation of the Fresnel lens
- Potentially: further visitor amenities following additional consultations with site users and the neighbourhood
This work represents a major step forward for the Society and its volunteers. It is the culmination of the past twelve years of our work, and the beginning of a new phase of our operations. It will require significant resources – both human and financial. Much of the work will need to be done by qualified professionals, under the guidance of heritage experts, but other aspects of the work will be carried out by our volunteers and our community. To be fully successful, we will need a lot of help.
- If you are able to volunteer your time and/or expertise to assist with this project, please contact us by clicking here.
- If you are able to make a financial donation to help us pay for this restoration, please click here.
If you have any questions or comments about the work being done at the Lighthouse site, please use the reply box below.